Marblemount - Mazama, WA: My body is a fire burning engine today! - The Granny Panties Tour - CycleBlaze

June 13, 2015

Marblemount - Mazama, WA: My body is a fire burning engine today!

Timberline Meadows cabins 509-996-3949 between MM80 and 81. Horseman's Hideaway - 2 beds/1 bath. Washer/dryer. Full kitchen. Poor wifi and TV. $285. plus a $20. fee for one night rental. Very, very nice.

I slept reasonably well. I woke up several times, but also fell back asleep several times instead of laying awake thinking about the day ahead. I don't typically take drugs for that sort of thing, but I had asked for an anxiety prescription right before we left town. I guess it was working?

I'm up and about done with breakfast. Oren is probably going to get out the door first. Jacinto is still in bed, I'm sure wishing I would get out of here so he could go back to sleep.

I doubt we have phone service all day. Hopefully wifi at the cabin tonight. If not, I will check in from Pateros.

8:30 PM - we discovered the cabin does have wifi. Very slow wifi. Perhaps we'll get photos tomorrow.

Short version is I totally owned this day! Training scared from reading all of the tour reports made me very prepared for this day. Pete M. was correct - it was a long slog, but none of the grades were too terrible.

Admittedly we had near perfect weather. 52 degrees when we left Marblemount. Forecast for blue skies until afternoon (pay attention to that for later). Best of all, a tailwind!

I saw Oren as we departed at 7 AM and that was that. He was gone, never to be seen again.

Oh - the weather forecast has changed from all sunny to 30% chance of rain by 3 PM. If you could send some good vibes our way to hold that rain off, it would be appreciated.

Today's ride was fueled by hard boiled eggs and BBQ chips. It was a perfect combination!
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It was basically flat until Newhalm for 14 miles. It was a great warm up. Newhalm is a company town, owned by the company who built the dam. There is a store, but no lodging. Right after Newhalm there was a longish tunnel, uphill of course. There was a light to push to warn driver's a bicycle was inside. It was a little scary and I tried to pedal fast. Only one car passed me from the rear in the tunnel. I was VERY happy to have my Dinotte 300R light running. Right in this area the Garmin was reading 8-10% for quite awhile. i thought to myself that it was going to be a LONG day at this rate. Luckily it leveled.

It was another six miles to Diablo Lake. It's a good thing we weren't camping at Colonial Creek Campground. I had the impression that it was the same place, but it's not. Bob had warned us that the steepest part of the day was after Lake Diable. Oren tells me that it was right at the Overlook, which he stopped at. How did he do all of this stopping and photo taking and I kept riding and riding and he still got to town two hours before I did?

But I'm getting ahead of myself. My goal for the day was to make it. If I could make it in good shape, all the better. When I rode Grand Mesa last week I had started out riding an hour at a time before taking a break. Then I made it every half hour. That strategy worked very well. My legs weren't sore at the time or even the next day. I decided to try the same approach. Except this was easier, the grade was long and sure. Sometimes I was in the granny, sometimes I wasn't. Mostly I stopped every 45 minutes.

I enjoyed looking at the runoff from the sides of the mountain. Ferns were growing out of every little crack. Such unusual vegetation compared to Colorado. I saw a number of cyclists. None of us seem inclined to talk - we just wanted to get the day in the bag.

I kept looking in front of me for Oren and behind me for Jacinto. Nope. At mile 35 my phone battery died, which meant I had no music. That's a very big problem. I did have a little credit card sized battery charger. Jacinto had told me last night it was good to go. See the blue light? Yes, I did. Did it have a blue light today? No it didn't. I kept playing with it, to no avail. Damn, damn, triple damn. I was just going to have to listen to myself pant. And smell the trees. That part was nice. I could have smelled the trees even with music. But in an odd way I enjoyed listening to myself pant. It was just a small controlled effort. Not like some trips where my breathing is so out of control that it scares me.

Pedal, pedal, pedal. No phone, so no photos either. It felt like freedom not, but I know later I will be very sad not to have photos. The guys haven't been taking many photos because I have. Will they step it up today? I hope so.

Finally, just before Rainy Pass I see Jacinto behind me. I'm hoping against hope he can get the little battery charger to work on my phone. Nope - no blue light. Just as we are talking, a fellow rolls up from the other side of the road. I didn't ask his name, but he started in Canada in May! That sounds very cold. He said he had had lots of snow and if we had a little rain on Rainy Pass, what the heck. He offered us water and then took off. Nice guy. From Italy.

Jacinto and I compared rides. I was euphoric. The day was going SO well compared to what I had anticipated. I was expecting a horrible horrible day. Possibly having to stick my thumb out for a ride or not getting to town until dark. That is saying something because it doesn't get dark here until 10 PM.

My legs and lungs were working perfectly. I made lots of short stops, but kept moving.

It started raining just a little. Jacinto said he would wait for me at Rainy Pass for a photo. I told him not to bother if it was really raining. I wasn't far behind them, and he was there. I had been slowly catching a couple all day. Imagine, me catching up with someone. Every time I got close to them, they would take off.

But at Rainy Pass the man was waiting for the woman. She was fully loaded and he had no bags at all. Turns out she was starting on a cross country trip and he was a friend just doing one day out with her. We all took turns taking photos. Mosquitoes turned up at Rainy Pass. Maybe it was the snow melt? The man said it was a 1.5 mile down hill and a 3 mile up hill with 900 feet of climbing. I didn't pay too much attention to the mileage, but the feet of climbing was correct.

All day long I had tried not to look at the total feet of climbing because 7,500 feet of climbing had been playing mental games with me all winter. Instead I just watched the feet I had to climb. We started at 300 feet this morning. 300 feet! Rainy Pass was 4,800 feet. Washington Pass was 5,488 feet. I just watched the one number tick up to Rainy. Then it went down. Then the up part was going very well. Yay for me! I was going to nail this thing!

I kept one eye open for places were the Pacific Crest Hiking Trail might cross. I know it cross the Sierra Cascades bike route some 27 times. I saw lots of hikers, but did not see any PC signs. In Colorado there are a number of places where the continental divide trail crosses the road and there's always signs.

After our photos, we knew it was 16 miles to town. According to Bob, we would only have to make three pedal strokes on the way. I counted. :) I did more than three, but not much more. It was a great downhill. I only braked in a few spots. The road surface was excellent. As a fact, the shoulder had been perfect all day. We had the two tunnels to navigate - but besides that there was always a nice shoulder. We had lots and lots of motorcycles pass us. Besides that not much traffic at all. I hate to say it, but these were much nicer passes to ride than Colorado passes, as a general statement. Because of the lack of traffic and the big shoulders.

Jacinto followed me to town. We made a left into Mazama. Why is it when I get to town I am starving? Even when I have food on the bike, when I get done, I am famished. I didn't want to go to the restaurant. We had looked at their menu on line. It was on the expensive side, to be expected for a tourist area. I just wanted food and I wanted it now. Lucky us, the store was open. A half a burrito was $5.95. Who sells burritos by the half? Who buys them? Me., that's who. Milk, V-8. Strange combination, but that's what I wanted. More eggs so I could have more hard boiled eggs and chips.

We made our purchases and headed to the cabin. Timberline Meadows cabins are between MM 180 and MM 181. We were in Horeseman's Hideaway. Man is this nice. It's a two bedroom house. I love how people say cabin just because they are in the mountains. It's excellent. Nice fireplace in the living room. A deck. A washer and dryer than is in use right now. I'll take photos in the morning.

Tomorrow we go to Pateros.56 miles with only 600 feet of climbing. We plan to sleep in and enjoy our cabin and let things warm up.

This wifi is super slow. I will add photos tomorrow and proofread this. I wanted to let you all know that I not only made it, I made it in style! Listen to me brag. I have to be honest and say my average mileage was 7.4 mph. Oren's was 9.1 mph. Jacinto had 10.3 mph. But I am the sassiest of us all. I'm not sure what that says.

Aren't selfies great?
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First one down, feeling good.
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Any sun today is good. We had just a little rain going up Rainy Pass.
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I think this is the liberty bell mountain.
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Can you see the mosquitoes swarming us? We were ready to get going.
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Today's ride: 75 miles (121 km)
Total: 187 miles (301 km)

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